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The US Government Is after Delta-8 THC

When he was barely out of high school, August Battles and a friend started selling “CBD cigarettes,” as they’re known, to capitalize on the 2018 Farm Bill—in which Congress and President Trump legalized an American hemp industry—and began marketing CBD. 

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Last Updated on July 11, 2022 by David McGinnis

When he was barely out of high school, August Battles and a friend started selling “CBD cigarettes,” as they’re known, to capitalize on the 2018 Farm Bill—in which Congress and President Trump legalized an American hemp industry—and began marketing CBD. 

According to their press releases, they now have a presence in every state and the District of Columbia. They claim that there are now 12,000 shops selling their Vance Global “guilt-free cigarettes.” However, the market is fickle, and consumer preferences change rapidly. As a result of the CBD bubble bursting into a bust, Battles adapted to Delta-8 THC which comes from federally legal hemp. 

THC is a cannabinoid found in marijuana that causes a high and can induce a euphoric effect. Delta-8 products are still legal under federal law because the source material is hemp—and they can be found in smoke shops, novelty stores, bodegas, gas stations, and online shops all over the United States. 

Unless it is necessary to do so for technical reasons, though, the government’s position will not last indefinitely. 

They’re about to start cracking down 

The federal government is finally taking note of this glaring gap in federal drug law, according to health agencies on Tuesday. Hemp industry players think things may get moving soon. 

 Three suspects have been arrested in an operation. On Jan. 31, at around 7 a.m., members of the Drug Enforcement Administration raided two houses in the Commerce City area of Colorado Springs…. 

On Tuesday, the CDC and FDA released statements advising the public about “grave health risks” posed by Delta-8 THC products. 

fed agent

Between December 2020 and July 2021, poison-control centers received 660 calls from people who ingested Delta-8 THC — most of them unintentionally, and almost all of them children. The warnings recall previous years’ warnings about “regular” adult-use cannabis products containing THC—induced by persons, frequently children but occasionally adults, who exceeded their recommended doses. 

According to Battles, a similar phenomenon appears to be at work. “Those individuals in the hospital were there because they were too intoxicated, most likely,” he stated. 

A major distinction is that Delta-8 THC, unlike highly regulated adult-use cannabis, is completely unregulated. And, as the FDA noted, there are no documentation or product quality or safety standards in place. 

Furthermore, CBD was found to have the same effect. And while the FDA leveled fines against CBD companies for mislabeling and making unproven health claims, it did so for doing so. 

After a few years, the FDA cracked down on CBD products for pets, claiming that they were not medicine. 

Is potency the real issue? 

Another major distinction—and the one that spells trouble for the Delta-8 THC business—is that whereas CBD does not make you intoxicated, Delta-8 products do. 

Last month, Vance Global debuted a Delta-8 THC gummies line that is “as highly potent as possible,” according to Battles, who didn’t want to hear the same complaints from dissatisfied (and un-stoned) users who weren’t receiving their money’s worth. 

“You will get very high from half a gummy,” he promised. And so, when the CDC and FDA stated that they were keeping an eye on things, Battles wasn’t shocked in the least. “I knew it was coming,” she says. 

So far, none of the Delta-8 vendors or distributors contacted for this story has noticed any changes in vendor, distributor, or consumer attitudes as a result of the FDA/CDC warnings. However, they did so while drawing a distinct conclusion from the federal agencies’ warning. 

“It’s kind of like the first punch in the industry,” Battles added. “They did the same thing with CBD in terms of marketing.” 

Not their first rodeo 

It wouldn’t be the first time. In the United States, 16 states have banned or restricted Delta-8 product sales, including cannabis-friendly states such as Colorado, Michigan, and Nevada. State bans in those locations are partly driven by concerns from the adult-use cannabis sector, which has a just cause regarding Delta-8 THC products being an 

However, the federal government may also act. For years, the FDA has been considering standards and regulations for CBD products. Because Delta-8 THC has intoxicating, psychoactive effects, the FDA may act more rapidly due to its psychoactive nature. The second compounding element is that because of Delta-8 THC’s first appearance about two years ago 

“The FDA is doing exactly what it has done in the past,” states Lo Friesen, the creator and CEO of HeyLo Cannabis, a legal cannabis business based in Washington. “However, because it’s widespread, this one is heightened in scope.” 

Some Delta-8 THC producers want to be regulated. Chase Slappey is the co-founder of ATLRx, an Atlanta-based company that sells and markets Delta-8 THC and CBD products online and in physical locations throughout Georgia. 

ATLRx goods, according to Dr. Granade, are “clinically tested and have unique QR codes that provide ‘full panel’ lab results,” unlike those seen in truck stops and seedy areas, such as the ones the CDC and FDA warned about on Tuesday.” 

“If you eat too much, you’ll freak out, especially if you don’t have a tolerance. That’s just going to happen naturally,” he continued. “However, there are many bad actors who aren’t making Delta-8 correctly.” 

For the time being, the market for Delta-8s is stagnant. If anything, the FDA may have unintentionally heightened consumer attention and interest. 

Way too high

However, when a tightening campaign begins, Friesen believes that the FDA will start with cease-and-desist orders directed at a couple of Delta-8 businesses—starting with the most significant or abusive—a near replica of how the CBD industry was shut down by the FDA. 

“We’ll see the same cycle with Delta-8 products,” she said. That may result in a Farm Bill amendment to clarify which hemp derivatives are legal, which aren’t, and which need government oversight. 

Finally, there’s federal cannabis legalization, which loomed large over the whole picture. If Delta-9 THC in marijuana were made legal, demand for Delta-8 THC—a synthetic product created to fill the gap caused by drug prohibition—would cease to exist. If federal marijuana legislation passes, Delta-8 will become irrelevant. 

But if the federal government adds Delta-8 to the Controlled Substances Act, a similar drama will play out again after a few years or months, when yet another cannabis product is not covered by the legislation. 

There’s always another cannabinoid,” stated ATLRx’s Slappey. 

Last Updated on July 11, 2022 by David McGinnis

When he was barely out of high school, August Battles and a friend started selling “CBD cigarettes,” as they’re known, to capitalize on the 2018 Farm Bill—in which Congress and President Trump legalized an American hemp industry—and began marketing CBD. 

According to their press releases, they now have a presence in every state and the District of Columbia. They claim that there are now 12,000 shops selling their Vance Global “guilt-free cigarettes.” However, the market is fickle, and consumer preferences change rapidly. As a result of the CBD bubble bursting into a bust, Battles adapted to Delta-8 THC which comes from federally legal hemp. 

THC is a cannabinoid found in marijuana that causes a high and can induce a euphoric effect. Delta-8 products are still legal under federal law because the source material is hemp—and they can be found in smoke shops, novelty stores, bodegas, gas stations, and online shops all over the United States. 

Unless it is necessary to do so for technical reasons, though, the government’s position will not last indefinitely. 

They’re about to start cracking down 

The federal government is finally taking note of this glaring gap in federal drug law, according to health agencies on Tuesday. Hemp industry players think things may get moving soon. 

 Three suspects have been arrested in an operation. On Jan. 31, at around 7 a.m., members of the Drug Enforcement Administration raided two houses in the Commerce City area of Colorado Springs…. 

On Tuesday, the CDC and FDA released statements advising the public about “grave health risks” posed by Delta-8 THC products. 

fed agent

Between December 2020 and July 2021, poison-control centers received 660 calls from people who ingested Delta-8 THC — most of them unintentionally, and almost all of them children. The warnings recall previous years’ warnings about “regular” adult-use cannabis products containing THC—induced by persons, frequently children but occasionally adults, who exceeded their recommended doses. 

According to Battles, a similar phenomenon appears to be at work. “Those individuals in the hospital were there because they were too intoxicated, most likely,” he stated. 

A major distinction is that Delta-8 THC, unlike highly regulated adult-use cannabis, is completely unregulated. And, as the FDA noted, there are no documentation or product quality or safety standards in place. 

Furthermore, CBD was found to have the same effect. And while the FDA leveled fines against CBD companies for mislabeling and making unproven health claims, it did so for doing so. 

After a few years, the FDA cracked down on CBD products for pets, claiming that they were not medicine. 

Is potency the real issue? 

Another major distinction—and the one that spells trouble for the Delta-8 THC business—is that whereas CBD does not make you intoxicated, Delta-8 products do. 

Last month, Vance Global debuted a Delta-8 THC gummies line that is “as highly potent as possible,” according to Battles, who didn’t want to hear the same complaints from dissatisfied (and un-stoned) users who weren’t receiving their money’s worth. 

“You will get very high from half a gummy,” he promised. And so, when the CDC and FDA stated that they were keeping an eye on things, Battles wasn’t shocked in the least. “I knew it was coming,” she says. 

So far, none of the Delta-8 vendors or distributors contacted for this story has noticed any changes in vendor, distributor, or consumer attitudes as a result of the FDA/CDC warnings. However, they did so while drawing a distinct conclusion from the federal agencies’ warning. 

“It’s kind of like the first punch in the industry,” Battles added. “They did the same thing with CBD in terms of marketing.” 

Not their first rodeo 

It wouldn’t be the first time. In the United States, 16 states have banned or restricted Delta-8 product sales, including cannabis-friendly states such as Colorado, Michigan, and Nevada. State bans in those locations are partly driven by concerns from the adult-use cannabis sector, which has a just cause regarding Delta-8 THC products being an 

However, the federal government may also act. For years, the FDA has been considering standards and regulations for CBD products. Because Delta-8 THC has intoxicating, psychoactive effects, the FDA may act more rapidly due to its psychoactive nature. The second compounding element is that because of Delta-8 THC’s first appearance about two years ago 

“The FDA is doing exactly what it has done in the past,” states Lo Friesen, the creator and CEO of HeyLo Cannabis, a legal cannabis business based in Washington. “However, because it’s widespread, this one is heightened in scope.” 

Some Delta-8 THC producers want to be regulated. Chase Slappey is the co-founder of ATLRx, an Atlanta-based company that sells and markets Delta-8 THC and CBD products online and in physical locations throughout Georgia. 

ATLRx goods, according to Dr. Granade, are “clinically tested and have unique QR codes that provide ‘full panel’ lab results,” unlike those seen in truck stops and seedy areas, such as the ones the CDC and FDA warned about on Tuesday.” 

“If you eat too much, you’ll freak out, especially if you don’t have a tolerance. That’s just going to happen naturally,” he continued. “However, there are many bad actors who aren’t making Delta-8 correctly.” 

For the time being, the market for Delta-8s is stagnant. If anything, the FDA may have unintentionally heightened consumer attention and interest. 

Way too high

However, when a tightening campaign begins, Friesen believes that the FDA will start with cease-and-desist orders directed at a couple of Delta-8 businesses—starting with the most significant or abusive—a near replica of how the CBD industry was shut down by the FDA. 

“We’ll see the same cycle with Delta-8 products,” she said. That may result in a Farm Bill amendment to clarify which hemp derivatives are legal, which aren’t, and which need government oversight. 

Finally, there’s federal cannabis legalization, which loomed large over the whole picture. If Delta-9 THC in marijuana were made legal, demand for Delta-8 THC—a synthetic product created to fill the gap caused by drug prohibition—would cease to exist. If federal marijuana legislation passes, Delta-8 will become irrelevant. 

But if the federal government adds Delta-8 to the Controlled Substances Act, a similar drama will play out again after a few years or months, when yet another cannabis product is not covered by the legislation. 

There’s always another cannabinoid,” stated ATLRx’s Slappey. 

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